Mavericks Look to Improve Playoff Position
The Dallas Mavericks go for a fourth straight win and possibly sole possession of third place in the Western Conference standings when they visit the Washington Wizards on Friday night. Dallas is currently tied with the Golden State Warriors for third in the West after a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
Washington is also coming off a victory, defeating the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, but it has been eliminated from playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. These two teams are familiar with one another after a midseason trade, so before you bet online on this one, take a look at our preview of this contest.
Mavericks Riding Doncic’s Magic
Legends in the NBA are made in the postseason, and Luka Doncic looks like he might be ready to add to his legend in the playoffs. Doncic is playing at his best right now, helping the Dallas Mavericks move among the top teams in the West heading into the postseason. He had 35 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds in Wednesday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“He does a great job of playing at the right tempo and the right speed,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Doncic after Wednesday’s game. “Tonight, it was a pick your poison, because his teammates were making shots. He does a great job of finding them and setting them up. He’s a wizard with the ball in his hands.”
Doncic is fifth in the league in scoring at 28.1 points per game while ranking sixth in the league with 8.6 assists per contest. He also ranks in the top 20 with 9.2 rebounds per game, making him easily the most important man when it comes to the Mavericks’ chances in the postseason.
But, he also needs shooters around him that are making their shots. On Wednesday, that was forward Dorian Finney-Smith, who went for a career-high 28 points, including six 3-pointers. The Mavericks try to spread the floor and allow Doncic room, and when he kicks it out, the open looks are plentiful.
Guard Spencer Dinwiddie has played well since being acquired by the Mavericks in a midseason trade with the Washington Wizards. He’ll be looking for a big game against his former team. Dinwiddie is averaging 17.2 points and 4.2 assists with Dallas, giving the Mavericks another perimeter offensive weapon and ball-handler.
Wizards Building for Future
This has been a building year for the Washington Wizards, with star Bradley Beal sidelined for much of the campaign and major deals being made during the season. First-year coach Wes Unseld Jr. is working to form a nucleus for next season, so a lot of young players are getting their shot at playing down the stretch.
Veteran center Kristaps Porzingis was part of the deal that sent Dinwiddie to Dallas at the trade deadline. Porzingis has played well when healthy, averaging 21.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 blocks in 13 games with the Wizards. He’ll certainly want to have a good showing against his former team.
With forward Kyle Kuzma out of the lineup with a knee injury, forward Rui Hachimura has been getting some more playing time and is making the most of it. The third-year man is averaging 12.6 points and 4.8 rebounds over the last 10 games.
Rookie forward Corey Kispert is also seeing increased playing time in the last few weeks of the season. Kispert is averaging 31.9 minutes and 11.7 points per game over his last 10 contests.
Mavericks vs Wizards Head-to-Head
The Washington Wizards won the season’s first meeting between these two teams, though that happened back in late November. Beal was still playing for the Wizards and led them to a win on the road against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks swept the two-game series between the teams in 2020-21, and this season’s win was only Washington’s third in the last 11 contests between the teams. Dallas is building toward a potential long playoff run while the Wizards are building for next season, which is why the NBA lines are favoring the visiting team in this one.
Mavericks vs Wizards Game Information
- Game: Mavericks (48-29) vs Wizards (33-43)
- Location: Capital One Arena
- Day/Time: Friday, April 1st, 7 p.m. ET
- Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Mavericks vs Wizards Betting Lines
Mavericks vs Wizards Prediction
Porzingis will want to show his former Dallas Mavericks teammates what they’re missing since he was dealt to the Washington Wizards, but it won’t be nearly enough to get a win. Doncic and Dallas are too loaded and playing too well to drop a key game like this one against a non-playoff team.
When doing your NBA betting, take Dallas to win and cover on the road.
Pick: Dallas Mavericks -9